Knicks Rumors: Carmelo Anthony on Leon Rose's 'Radar' Since March

Tyler Conway@jtylerconwayFeatured ColumnistAugust 31, 2020

Portland Trail Blazers' Carmelo Anthony, left, and Jusuf Nurkic, right, look on from the bench during the fourth quarter of Game 4 of an NBA basketball first-round playoff series against the Los Angeles Lakers, Monday, Aug. 24, 2020, in Lake Buena Vista, Fla. (Kevin C. Cox/Pool Photo via AP)
Kevin C. Cox/Associated Press

Carmelo Anthony has his eyes set on a return to Portland, but a reunion with the New York Knicks may be a fallback plan.

Marc Berman of the New York Post reported Knicks president of basketball operations Leon Rose has had Anthony on his "radar" since taking the job in March. Rose was Anthony's longtime agent before leaving Creative Artists Agency to take over the Knicks.

Anthony played for the Knicks from 2011-2017, before being traded amid a falling out with the organization. Most of the bad blood was the result of Melo's fractured relationship with former team president Phil Jackson, who alienated him throughout his tenure.

Despite the awkward end to his time in New York, Anthony was largely beloved as a Knick. Fans embraced him during his one-year hiatus between his time with the Houston Rockets and Blazers, and he spoke about openly embracing the New York spotlight in December. 

"I wanted it. It was something I wanted. I wanted to take that challenge on. Whether I failed at it or not I wanted to be able to say that I did it," Anthony told Stefan Bondy of the New York Daily News. "I took it upon myself to say, 'Get me there.' I wanted that challenge. Not everybody has that same mentality."

Anthony, who was born in Brooklyn and played college basketball at Syracuse, seemed to find a second home in Portland this season. He averaged 15.4 points and 6.3 rebounds while playing a floor-spacing 4 role for most of the year, earning praise from star Damian Lillard and finding a kinship with teammates.

After the Blazers were eliminated from the postseason, Anthony told reporters that he hopes to return to Portland next year.

"I pray that it could be Portland. Honestly, thank God I found a home in Portland. I got comfortable with the organization. I got comfortable with the guys on the team. They got comfortable with me.

"At this point in my career, I do think that that’s the best fit for me, the best situation. Especially having this experience now and kind of just getting my feet wet, coming in and being who I am and staying true to myself. I really hope that it can be Portland at the end of the day where we give ourselves a chance to keep this team together, get guys healthy and get another run at it."